Crisis Management

Hi Newsbreak family!

How are you all doing na? Happy happy birthday to Ms. Gemma and Ms.
Lala. Hope you guys have a great get-together and birthday
celebration. 🙂

Things are okay here in Jakarta. I’m still unhappy about the quality
of journalism on J (man, you should really read the
copy we have to edit, they’re all so…. STUPID) and one of the bosses
I talked to actually acknowledged that the organization is weak and
that our reporters are incompetent (the good ones end up working for
B afterward) and our “learning experience” basically consists
of “writing around” obvious holes in the story. Like one of my
friends, D, who is quitting in a month, said, it’s quite hard to
keep doing something when you don’t believe in the product. I never
had this problem with Newsbreak.

On the upside, it’s still a way to save some money for grad school at
some point next year, though I’m not even doing a good job of saving
money. Haha. I guess I am enjoying extra-curriculars too much.

I moved kosts (apartment-ish boarding houses) three days ago because
the street where I used to live on had monumental deluges every time
it rained hard. Twice last week, I had to swim in floodwaters that
were waist-deep. I kid you not. I also almost fell into a canal, if
not for some neighbors who were watching me cross the road and they
screamed for me to stop. 🙂 I actually wore a swimsuit under my
clothes to wade in sewage. Might as well put the bikinis to use!

My new kost is great, it’s like a three-star hotel and it’s definitely
got more interesting (read: less seedy) people. It’s very cozy and
quiet from morning until around 8 p.m., when the management starts
blaring Celine Dion songs on the PA system for about an hour and a
half. I’m not sure if they think “My Heart Will Go On” will make us
sleep better or something. On the whole, it’s been very conducive to
meditation and painting, which I’ve taken up again recently. I figured
I need a positive outlet for my frustrations. 🙂 I’ve also been
watching a lot of classic films and reading a stack of books I borrow
from my friend, to keep myself literate.

One of the more interesting things that happened earlier this month
was when some of us at the copy edit desk (me; one of our immediate
supervisors, J; his nice brother D; D; and our bassist
co-worker A) went to P restaurant in South Jakarta.

The experience was surreal, because you get the feeling that the
socialist government is just putting on a fake face for foreigners.
I enjoyed myself after scarfing down kimchi,
cream dumplings, some roast beef and pork, cold noodles (not so good
though) and shotglasses full of Soju. Then the waitresses performed a
few Korean songs and they sounded like dying cats. It was so funny. I
almost choked on a noodle when I heard one of them sing “My Heart Will
Go On” in stilted Ingarish. I’ll post a video and pictures sometime
(though cameras are forbidden).

This weekend, we’re all piling into a minibus and going to Bandung,
the capital of West Java province and home to lots of factory outlets.
It’s a long drive from Jakarta, though. I think people go there to
shop, mostly. We’re supposed to have a picnic near a volcano, which
sounds really exciting. But, we’ll see what adventures or
misadventures await.

Hope to hear from you all again. Miss you guys.

Love love,



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